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Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea Can Lead to Cardio Risk in Elders

According to research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, undiagnosed and subsequently untreated severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (also called Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is directly related to a heightened risk of cardiovascular death, and appropriate treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) would contribute significantly in reducing this risk on account of this sleep disorder.

Miguel-Angel Martinez-Garcia, M.D., of La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Valencia, Spain, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive prospective, observational research on a sample size of 939 patients who were 65 years of age or older with confirmed Obstructive Sleep Apnea and who either have or haven’t had any treatment for this condition. The research was aimed at identifying possible associations between untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

After a median observation period of 69 months, researchers found that the adjusted hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality was 1.38 (95 percent Confidence Interval, 0.73 to 2.64) for those with untreated mild-to-moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea; 2.25 (95 percent Confidence Interval, 1.41 to 3.61) for those with untreated severe OSA; and 0.93 (95 percent Confidence Interval, 0.46 to 1.89) for CPAP-treated patients.

In a group subset of patients aged 75 years and above, the results were strikingly similar. The observation was consistent with the hypothesis that CPAP treatment in patients suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular mortality.

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